First flown in 1949, the British-made Comet was the world's first jet airliner to go into service. It was designed to give Great Britain a definite edge in post-World War II transport and it was an immediate success. Other commercial aircraft of the period, such as Douglas's DC-6, could not compete with the technological and performance superiority of the Comet. However, just when it seemed the Comet had sewn up the commercial-transport market, tragedy struck. Two deadly crashes within 16 weeks of each other revealed a design flaw that would eventually ground the original Comets for good. By the time the flaw had been corrected and the new Comet 4C had been produced, de Havilland's jet had lost its lead to the Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8.
The Museum's Comet took its first flight on October 31, 1959 and became the first jet airliner for Mexicana Airlines, serving routes between Mexico City and Los Angeles until 1970. After 1970, it was briefly used as a charter plane, before being sold to Westernair of Albuquerque, New Mexico. The plane was refurbished in Mexico City, but remained unused by Westernair, who eventually sold it to an airline club in Redmond, Washington in 1978. It was eventually transferred to Everett, Washington and was acquired by The Museum of Flight in the early 1990s. The Comet has been undergoing a complete restoration at our Restoration Center at Paine Field since 1995.
Learn more about our Comet restoration project at www.dhcomet.com or contact us for more information at: firstname.lastname@example.org